There are plenty of these on The Wire, some are here divided by seasons.
Rawls flipping two birds:
"You have my undivided attention."
"Boy Wonder, why don't you suck my Bat-dick!"
D'Angelo after Wallace gets paid with fake money.
"This look like money to you? Money be GREEN!"
"Hey McNulty! Something here needs kissin'!"
Lester Freamon's dismay at none of the MCU members ever serving in the Military.
"A bunch of draft-dodgin' peace-freaks!"
Sydnor's first attempt to go undercover as a dope fiend, and Bubbles tearing him down bit by bit.
Sydnor: Detective Sydnor is modelling the latest in West Side Project wear. Torn cammies by Versace, stained sweatshirt by Ralph Lauren...
Later, after Bubbles has had his say
McNulty: He hurt your feelings?
Sydnor: A little bit.
McNulty gets a phone call in the middle of the night. It's a strange woman, calling to tell him that Bunk is at her house and has set off her fire alarm multiple times because, after they drunkenly slept together, he decided to burn his clothes so his wife wouldn't be able to see the "secondary evidence".
Hell, just the image of Bunk sitting on the toilet asleep, with a pink bathrobe exposing his chest and a blue tie, with a cigar still in his mouth is awesome.
Bunk: First she gives me the pussy, then she takes my shoes. That shit ain't right.
Later, we find that he's taken Bunk back to his place (still wearing the woman's robe) and asks him, incredulously, "What were you planning to wear home?". Somehow, the looks they give each other are hilarious.
McNulty thanking Bunk for fucking him gently.
Bunk: It was your first time, I wanted that shit to be special.
McNulty: It was, man. It fucking was.
The entire scene where McNulty and Bunk re-create the Deirdre murder. Essentially five straight minutes of absolutely nothing but gratuitous use of the word "fuck" and variations thereof. *And it still makes sense!*
Let me tell you something. If he gets caught with his dick up the ass of the deputy's wife... he's still gonna have more of a career than if they find out he's behind that story.
Landsman thinking, "in a clear violation of the general orders" and interceding for Jimmy and his clearance before Rawls, because McNulty interferes with Jay's wordly pleasures
At the start of "Old Cases", Herc is trying to move a desk through a doorway. Carver comes in and helps from the other side. Sydnor and McNulty come in and help from Herc's and Carver's side respectively, but they make no progress. Herc mutters "At this rate we're never gonna get it in." Cue a hilarious Oh Crap look from McNulty and Carver. "In?!"
And the whole time, Freamon is watching and clearly knows exactly what's going on, but wants to enjoy the show a bit longer.
Daniels' reaction is likewise hilarious: "I'm embarrassed for you all."
Towards the end of "The Hunt," D'Angelo and Wee-Bey pay a visit to Bey's house. Bey is really insistent in getting D'Angelo into the house, leading D'Angelo to think that he's about to get whacked. As Bey goes over to turn on the lights, D is standing in the darkness, sobbing, thinking that he's about to die... and then Bey turns on the lights, revealing several aquariums, full of fish. Cue Bey grinning and bragging about his fish, before telling D'Angelo how to feed them.
Wee-Bey: (pointing to his fish) These are my Tetras. Got Kimmy, Alex, Aubrey, and Jezebel in here somewhere. I don't know, she think she cute.
After he provokes Carv into beating him Bodie shouts "You're supposed to be the good cop, dumb motherfucker!"
Herc and Carver drive to juvenile detention to talk to Bodie and fantasize about how he's going to break down and they are going to crack the case...just to drive right past him as he's hitchhiking, having immediately escaped after waking up in there.
Herc and Carver listening to Poot have phone sex over the wiretap.
Joe: I'm doing like one of them marriage counselors. Charge by the hour to tell some fool he need to bring some flowers home. Then charge another hour telling the bitch she oughta suck some cock every little once in a while. You know, keep a marriage strong like that. (Omar walks up]) Speaking of cocksuckers...
"Fighting the war on drugs... one brutality case at a time."
McNulty's abysmal seamanship.
Jimmy: It's a Baltimore knot [...] I dunno, but it's never the same thing twice. Jimmy: Here, Bubs, tie this to that thing, will ya? Bubbles: The cleat? [ties it off perfectly]
Landsman has won the bet he made back in the first episode, Jimmy is riding the boat.
Herc and Kima joking about how incompetent the hoppers in the white neighborhoods are and suggesting there should be Affirmative Action for White Gangbangers.
"GODDAMNIT ZIGGY, YOU'RE NOT TAKING YOUR DICK OUT IN HERE AGAIN!"
Burrell inquiring about the feud with Sobotka
Burrell: What's he to you? Valchek: To me? He's an asshole! (both laugh)
In what could be his defining moment, McNulty sticking his former commander with 14 open homicides, and his ensuing celebration.
"Stop, you're giving me an erection!"
And when the secretary begins adding the Jane Does to the whiteboard, you can see the souls of the entire homicide department being crushed. And it is absolutely hilarious. Jay Landsman is looking at that whiteboard with the kind of face you'd normally reserve for a young boy having been told his puppy had died.
Even better, when the 14 Jane Does are pushed onto Bunk and Fremon, when Port Authority Officer Beadie asks them if they know McNulty.
Bunk: (deadpan) He's dead to us.
Later, when McNulty heads to homicide to talk to Freamon and Bunk, he passes Rawls, and salutes him. Rawls' look of fury and incredulity is priceless.
Lester and Bunk realize that Jimmy is there to smugly show off his deductive skills so they start explaining the case in third person for him before McNulty can say another word, as they already have figured most of it by themselves.
Freamon and The Bunk's interviewing of foreign sailors who allegedly don't speak English.
Freamon: Mishy Gishy Mushy Gushy Mishy Motherfucker... Negro, you cannot travel halfway around the world and not speak any motherfucking English...English Motherfucker!
And then you can tell that Bunk's lost it when he starts talking to one of the foreign guys, and this "language" includes the phrase "yabba-dabba-doo."
A very darkly funny scene features Bodie purchasing flowers for D'Angelo's funeral. The flower dealer figures out fairly quickly that Bodie's a drug dealer, and assumes that he's searching for flowers for one of his friends. He leads him into the back, where we see a variety of flowers arrangements made to look like weapons and hood ornaments. Eventually, he gets an arrangement made to look like Tower 221, where he and the deceased worked the drug trade.
One episode begins with McNulty driving drunk and singing along to a Pogues song. He crashes into a concrete pillar, gets out, examines the path if the crash, gets back in, backs the way he came from and recreates the crash, hurting himself in the process. McNulty then heads to an all night diner where, still drunk, he manages to pick up the waitress and the scene cuts to them having sex in her apartment. Funnier than it sounds.
When the team are monitoring the illegal cargo coming off ships
Prez: They're bringing them off in tandem.
Freamon: Means one after the other, Jimmy Jimmy: I know what it means!
McNulty 'sealing the deal' during a sting operation on a brothel.
Kima: Takes a whore to catch a whore.
Made even funnier by him describing the incident in his report.
Landsman's description of Det. Freamon's "brash, tweedy impertinence." and Bunk's "lawyerly affectations". While he's offering fashion advice to Port Authority officer Beadie Russel, namely 'pantsuits in muted tones' to best counterpart the aforementioned appearance of Freamon and The Bunk.
Receives an Exact WordsBrick Joke when Omar shows up to court wearing a tie... on top of his regular clothing, since he was only told that whatever he bought had to include a tie
And a season later, becomes even more of a Brick Joke when Bunk gives Blind Butchie a tie — implied to be the exact same one — after Butchie turns in Officer Dozerman's gun for Omar.
Bunk and McNulty on fashion:
McNulty: You know what they call a guy who pays that much attention to his clothes, don't you?
Bunk: A grown-up.
Bodie and Shamrock lose the hip hop station while driving to Philly, look for a new one, and happen upon A Prairie Home Companion. The crowner comes later when we see Bodie is still listening to it.
Prop Joe talking about his nephews; "I got motherfuckin' nephews and in-laws fucking my shit up all the time. And it ain't like I can pop a cap in their ass and not hear about it Thanksgiving time. For real, I'm living life with some burdensome niggas."
Herc and Carver's whole adventure trying to investigate on their own after being stuck with all the crappy mundane tasks, where they end up destroying an expensive listening device. "His name is Head. Dick Head."
And in the season's final episode, they end up Locked Out of the Loop about Nick turning himself in and spend the entire night watching his house. Their faces as they realize this are priceless.
Ziggy walking into the local bar wearing blind man shades and a "seeing-eye-duck" wearing a diamond collar. He then says it's his attorney, he and the rest of the bar proceed to give the damn thing scotch, which only succeeds in killing it.
Ziggy: Now, I may not be able to see through all the bullshit, but my feathery friend here can.
The Running Gag about Valchek's valuable district surveillance van, which the Dockworker Union steals right out from under his nose and ship from port to port, sending him photographs from each destination. And even better, even after Sobotka dies, Valchek gets another photograph of the van in a new locale, and even seems kind of impressed that Sobotka is still fucking with him from beyond the grave.
The wordless montage of Cedric and Kima eating dinner while their respective spouses react angrily to them both taking up the new case.
Country: Yo, uh, String, why are you so down on the phone companies, man? Stringer: While back, I took a stroll through the pit, I saw that kid we got running things down there, uh, Poot. Now, he got the cell phone I gave him for the business, right there on his hip. But, the nigga got another cell phone that only rang when the pussy called. Now, if this no-account nigga got two cell phones, how the fuck you gonna sell any more of them motherfuckers? That's market saturation.
Stringer venting out his usual frustration by talking about the hardships of being a CEO, after Shamrock&Co messed it up.
Everybody else can be ducking and hiding (Stringer does some sudden moves), doing what they fucking wanna do... No, that's a very simple thing, my nigger. You drive the guns to the water. You look around, you ain't see anybody, you throw the guns. In the water. Splash.
"One more time with that toothpick, and I'm gonna stab him in the fucking eye with it."
Then when the "civil business meeting" suddenly turns violent:
Poot: Do the chair know we gonna look like some punk-ass bitches out there? (Stringer slaps aside his microphone and runs down to get in Poot's face) Stinger: Motherfucker, I will punk your ass for sayin' some... Shamrock: Yo! String! Stringer: What?! Shamrock: Poot did have the floor... Stringer: Shut the fuck up, man! This nigger too ignorant to have the fuckin' floor!
Stringer's lectures about economics usually start with some reaction shots of his disgruntled underlings. He is oblivious to the fact that he's casting pearls before swine, but surprisingly, some of them are able to retort, from time to time.
In a subsequent meeting, Stringer checks Shamrock's notepad to make sure he ain't writing shit about no fucking criminal conspiracy and is pleased to discover that Shamrock is just drawing some pornography.
Carver posses Herc with the hypothetical of Herc having to have sex with a man for the reward of getting to sleep with the Olsen twins afterwards. Herc spends most the day trying to find a notch down from having sex with a man such as an old and ugly woman which finally culminates in him asking Carver "How bout a handjob?" out of the blue whilst interviewing Poot. Poot's reaction face is what makes it. Some scenes later, Dozerman drives by them, mimicking the act of giving head to mock Herc, who just flips the bird.
Tactical raid a stash house and with a half dozen all piling in in full armor and gear they get stuck in the small corridors leaving Kima to have to weasel her way through them with an annoyed look on her face.
Bunk and McNulty interrogate Cheese about his dawg/dog.
For that matter, almost anything Cheese says, ever.
Bunny Colvin goes for a drive through his district, in-uniform, in an unmarked but obvious police car. Some dumbass kid still tries to sell him drugs. He's so stunned initially that he just responds "What?". The kid asks again, so Colvin turns up his police radio. The kid asks again, so he puts on his uniform hat, at which point the kid finally figures it out and his friends start howling with laughter.
Freamon and McNulty having a vicious verbal fight about wasting time on other cases instead of focusing on Stringer - Freamon doesn't mind, Jimmy is furious. McNulty tells Lester how Stringer is probably laughing his ass off, since the police doesn't have a clue what happened to all the real estate he owned. They both storm out furiously after a What the Hell, Hero? speech from Freamon. Cue Lester coming back and telling Prez quietly to check that real estate.
Lester: How do you think it all ends? A parade? A gold watch? A shining Jimmy-McNulty-day moment, when you bring in a case sooooo sweet everybody gets together and says, "Aw, shit! He was right all along. Should've listened to the man." The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won't make you whole, it won't fill your ass up.
McNulty picks up Theresa D'Agostino during a school presentation with his ex-wife. Halfway through, it turns out it's McNulty that got picked up. He only realizes it after they screw each other, where she tells him to leave. The look on his face is priceless.
McNulty acts like a racist, believing it will make a small town cop more amenable to helping him. Except that cop has a black girlfriend. Luckily McNulty also brought Greggs along and lets her take over the negotiation, after which the other cop comments that McNulty is "Kind of an asshole." Kima's response: "For real?"
Bubbles and Johnny are pushing a cart full of scrap metal down the street when they accidentally scratch a dealer's car. After being threatened, they promise to come back with money to repair it. Cut to Bubbles pushing the cart down the street with no pants on, since the dealer took them, and Bubbles mentions that they need to go to K-mart on the way back. And then the guy at the scrap metal place asks Bubbles if he's aware that he's not wearing pants.
The dealers who don't migrate to Hamsterdam get rounded up, released in a forest in the middle of nowhere and given a few orientation cues. Santangelo enjoys every moment of it.
A bunch of drug dealers use the facial reconstruction program to make a picture of a guy who robbed them, its going fine until Herc gets involved and they instead start acting like teenagers - making funny looking guys and trying to get the perfect face for a woman
McNulty and Greggs go to a convenience store to track down the purchase of burners. When the man behind the register produces the receipts for the day of the sale, McNulty says "seek and you shall find." Another worker (who is very obviously a Sikh and appears to speak little English) overhears this, and the camera cuts to a shot of him wide-eyed and muttering something apprehensively.
Brother Mouzone and Omar having a very genial standoff - each complimenting the other on their choice of weapon and Nerves of Steel
Carver and Herc, along with their dates, run into Bodie and Poot, and their dates, at the movie theater. One of the finest examples of the Punch Clock Villain trope ever shown.
Poot: And you must be the lovely Mrs. Herc!
While looking for Omar, Mouzone sends a reluctant Lamar to probe a gay bar.
Brother: You're the perfect bait Lamar. They will see you as conflicted, your homophobia is so visceral.
Lamar: See, I haven't even stepped foot in that club and you already callin me a cocksucker. (later, when Omar and Dante reunite) Lamar Gay-ass gangsters? please...
To general surprise (in-universe), Bodie shows his savviness by successfully alleging "contrapment" as a defense for his Hamsterdam business. Jimmy is amused by it and when they meet the next season he greets Bodie as "Mr. Entrapment"
McNulty in a lesbian bar. After two rather unseemly butch ones make him twist his face in disgust, he finally scans a hot blonde. Cue Kima's reaction: "please, don't embarrass yourself."
Jimmy arriving late at a briefing and then moving around Daniels to take a look at the stuff on a table. Daniels is quietly uncomfortable for some reason. A moment later, Kima complains that Jimmy stinks of sex.
Bodie coming to Stringer to explain Hamsterdam. Stringer listening skeptically, thinking Bodie was wired, and only replying with a beatiful movement of ears and the line "Yeah, well, you shouldn’t sell drugs."
Jimmy conceding a point, for once.
McNulty: He's (Phelan) a piece of shit. Daniels: We're all pieces of shit when we're in your way. That goes with the territory. McNulty: Point taken.
The local police thrilled by the seminar on anti-terrorism, with a montage that equals them to school kids.
Santangelo: No disrespect to your appendix, but if them terrorists do fuck up the Western, could anybody even tell?
Carcetti articulating what an honest fundraising call would sound like:
Carcetti: Hey there, Jim. Tom Carcetti here, remember me? We met at your sister's house, you know, the one that's married to that republican cunt. I know you don't remember me, I know you don't have any use for fucking politicians and, frankly, I don't give a flying fuck about what you think or what your concerns are. But I do care about what your cute little blonde wife thinks about so many things. But, Jim, the reason I'm calling is I want you write me out a check for four thousand dollars, the maximum allowed by law, and because we don't trust you to actually mail that check, we're gonna send over a couple of furloughed DPW workers to beat the check out of you.
Valchek laughing his ass off when Herc relates his problem with Mayor Royce. Herc thinks he's gonna end on some boat like Jimmy, while Valchek tells him he's hit the jackpot.
Valchek: Kid, careers have been launched on a hell of a lot less.
Herc telling Carver earlier about what happened is pretty funny too.
Omar Little being woken up one morning to the sounds of garbage men outside his window, realizing his boyfriend has eaten the last of his Honey Nut Cheerios, and going down the street in his blue satin pajamas and robe, unarmed, to buy more. He stops to light a cigarette on the way home and a group of drug dealers in a room upstairs drop him a bag of heroin to make him go away. He gets home, drops the heroin and Cheerios on the table, and his boyfriend... asks him why he bought regular Cheerios instead of Honey Nut.
Freamon and Bunk disbelief and puns over McNulty's domesticated state.
Lester: World is on its hole when Jimmy McNulty is the most qualified to drive.
Bunk: You know what the plural of pussy is? Pussai. Jimmy told me that.
Holley dodges a phone call and then laughs with Bunk when Norris answers it and gets a hard case. Cue Norris a few scenes later invoking Who's Laughing Now? when the victim turns out to be a state witness, meaning a high-profile case with plenty of paid overtime.
Proposition Joe imitates a white man. "Yes, hello, this is Sidney Handjerker with Handjerker, Cohen and Bromberg..."
Omar and his crew rip off the entire Baltimore drug supply. And then Omar sells his share of the drugs back to Proposition Joe for 20 cents on the dollar. Not to mention Cheese's assessment of what happened.
Cheese: Omar had one of them commando squads with him, man. I mean He had this one ho pullin' guns out her pussy, Unc! The shit was unseemly, man.
Even funnier when Joe offers to sell Marlo back his share, and without comment claims Omar was charging 30 cents on the dollar.
"The Bunk is strictly a suit-and-tie motherfucker."
Randy "pissing" himself.
When Bubbles goes to Edward Tilghman Middle School to enroll Sherrod, he coincidentally runs into Prez. Because he never got the word that Prez quit the force, he assumes that he's working undercover as a math teacher, and assures him that he'll keep his secret. The look that Prez gives him is priceless.
When tasked with running the New York dealers out of Baltimore Chris and Snoop try and devise a way of figuring out the natives from the NY dealers. Chris proposes asking questions about Baltimore soul music, which Snoop knows nothing about kinda defeating the point of it.
The first dealer they asks mention New York Sonja at which point Snoop tries to shoot him only to have Chris calm her down and inform her that Sonja was a musician and that maybe he should handle the questions from now on. All the while the thoroughly terrified dealer just stares at them.
Valchek relating to candidate Carcetti that Kima, "a rookie, and a broad no less", has been assigned to a red ball case in the middle of the primaries.
Valcheck: (looking up, folded hands) St. Jude, patron of lost causes. Tell me you ain't been on bended knee whispering in his saintly ear each and every night before you close those peepers. I know you have, Tommy, catch a break like this.
Landsman's "No red on the board!" speech to Lester "Madam Curie" Freamon, tossing away one of the nails, which Lester promptly recovers.
After Herc searches their car, Chris and Snoop need to dump their hidden weapons to cover their tracks. They toss their guns in the river, but as they're about to leave, Chris realizes their nailgun (the one Snoop bought in the opening scene of the season) is also evidence, and tosses that too. Snoop is appalled and exclaims that he owes her 800 dollars for that.
Omar pulls an amazing One-Liner when his crew ambush Proposition Joe at his repair store to hit him up for information. In true Omar puts a broken clock in front of Joe and asks if he can fix it, Joe asks what the problem with it is, followed by Omar pulling a gun on him and declaring:
Bunk and Landsman using a printer as a lie detector to break a perp in the opening minutes of the season.
Made even better by the fact that, like most things on the Wire, this actually happened.Elaboration In David Simon's book Homicide, he describes how a bunch of Detroit detectives were reprimanded for using the Xerox copier during the 1980s, as this went beyond the "reasonable deception" police are allowed to deploy in the interrogation room to extract confessions. The Baltimore detectives were incredulous that someone had actually got in trouble for that, and recall a time when they convinced a perp that the sobriety test was a Jedi mind trick. He confessed.
It also delivered probably the most important line of that season.
Bunk: The bigger the lie, the more they believe.
McNulty takes the bus to a murder crime scene.
"Well now I've seen everything."
While discussing secondary employment, Jimmy asks Bunk what he's qualified to do. Bunk just points at his crotch, and indicates with body language signals that it was the most obvious question ever.
McNulty's "high regard" of his peers at homicide.
Jimmy: Who is gonna catch me? Most of the guys here couldn't catch the clap in a Mexican whorehouse!
Bunk brings Lester into the "Serial Killer" loop hoping Freamon will talk some sense into Jimmy, but after the initial hope spot when Lester says "Shit like this actually goes through your fucking brain?", Freamon ellaborates and ends up encouraging Jimmy and masterminding an even more sensationalized lie. Nice job breaking it, Bunko!.
After McNulty fabricates all kinds of evidence to point to there being a serial killer in Baltimore to raise the police budget, he and Kima go to the FBI to hear the profile they've put together on the killer. Said profile is a perfect description of McNulty himself, leaving him with an awesome expression somewhere between awe at their skills, hoping that Kima doesn't figure it out, and embarrassment at hearing his entire personality laid bare.
Landsman unhappiness about Jimmy's passivity: "From everything we've given you, fire should be shooting out your ass. But no, there you sit like a genital wart."
In the final episode, Cheese moronically implicates himself in the murder of his uncle, Prop Joe, while delivering a rant about how it is now "his time" as head of the Co-Op, which is then quickly cut off by Slim Charles putting a bullet through his head. Murder has never been so funny.
"This sentimental motherfucker just cost us money".
Vinson sets up another golden moment during the series finale when Michael becomes the new stick up boy after Omar's death:
Vinson: "But you just a kid"
( Michael fires his shotgun at Vinson's knee)
Michael: "And that's just a knee."
Mcnulty's entire fake wake/retirement with Landsman's fake eulogy.
Landsman: Jimmy, I say this seriously. If I was laying there dead on some Baltimore street corner, I'd want you standing over me, catching the case. Because, brother, when you were good, you were the best we had.
Bunk: Shit, if you were lying there dead on some corner, it probably was Jimmy that done ya.
Carcetti finds out about McNulty making up the serial killer:
Carcetti:So, um, let me just...understand this. Um...so I've been going out there for weeks, slamming the governor for his neglect of the homeless and declaring at how we will stop at nothing to find the person responsible for preying on the homeless, (Norman, who has been trying valiantly not to laugh, loses it) and all - hey, Norman, this is my ass here!
Norman: (pulling himself together) That's true, boss. But it does have a certain charm to it. They manufactured an issue to get paid; we manufactured an issue to get you elected governor. Everybody's getting what they need behind some make-believe.
Even better is Norman's line at the end of the scene; "I wish I was still at the newspaper so I could write on this mess. This is too fuckin' good."
Kima's fruitless attempts to assemble her Ikea furniture, and her furious phonecall to an amused Jimmy, who recommended the store in the first place.
Kima: I don't know how the fuck did YOU of all people do this shit, huh? HOW?!
Jimmy: You got the right allen wrench?
Norman assessing the threat that Rawls poses to the mayor.
Norman: I wouldn't worry about Bill Rawls. I believe he's about to have one of those road to Damascus moments. (moments later, after Steintorf has sealed a deal) Rawls: Back channel is the way to go. Norman: See? The Police Commissioner done fell off his ass.
Special mention must be given to David Simon himself, for not only producing a brilliant prank on actors Dominic West (McNulty) and Wendell Pierce (Bunk) by making them believe that yet another scene had been written up for them deep in the final season, but for making this fake scene so utterly hilarious. To read the whole thing, grab Truth Be Told, a companion book to The Wire. For now, I give you but one line:
Bunk: We a drunkass pair of meta motherfuckers right now.